U.S. Foreclosure Activity Increases 7 Percent in August, Defaults Surge 33 Percent


Overall Year-Over-Year Activity Decreases for 11th Consecutive Month, But Default Notices Jump 33 Percent from July

IRVINE, CA – September 15, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — RealtyTrac® (www.realtytrac.com), the leading online  marketplace for foreclosure properties, today released its U.S. Foreclosure  Market Report™ for August 2011, which shows foreclosure filings —  default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 228,098  U.S. properties in August, a 7 percent increase from the previous month, but  still down nearly 33 percent from August 2010. The report also shows one in  every 570 U.S. housing units with a foreclosure filing during the month.

Default notices (NOD, LIS) were filed for the first time on a  total of 78,880 U.S. properties in August, a nine-month high and a 33 percent  increase from July — the biggest month-over-month increase since August 2007.  Despite the monthly increase, default notices were still down 18 percent from  August 2010 and were 44 percent below the monthly peak of 142,064 default  notices in April 2009.

Default notices increased more than 40 percent on a  month-over-month basis in several states, including New Jersey (42 percent),  Indiana (46 percent) and California (55 percent), but were still down from a  year ago in all of those states.

“The big increase in new foreclosure actions may be  a signal that lenders are starting to push through some of the foreclosures  delayed by robo-signing and other documentation problems,” said James Saccacio,  chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “It also foreshadows more bank  repossessions in the coming months as these new foreclosures make their way  through the process.”

Foreclosure auctions (NTS, NFS) were scheduled  for 84,405 U.S. properties in August, a decrease of 1 percent from the previous  month and a decrease of 43 percent from August 2010. Foreclosure auctions hit a  37-month low in August and were 47 percent below the monthly peak of 158,105  scheduled auctions in March 2010.

Despite the nationwide decrease, scheduled auctions  were up substantially from the previous month in several states where the auction  notice is the first public notice in the foreclosure process: Oregon (19  percent), Arizona (20 percent), Georgia (22 percent), and Colorado (51  percent). Scheduled auctions were still down from a year ago in all of those  states.

Lenders repossessed a total of 64,813 U.S.  properties (REOs) in August, a 4 percent decrease from the previous month and a  32 percent decrease from August 2010. The REO total in August marked a  six-month low and was 37 percent below the monthly peak of 102,134 bank  repossessions in September 2010.

Nevada, California, Arizona post top state  foreclosure rates
Nevada posted the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate for the 56th  straight month in August, with one in every 118 housing units with a  foreclosure filing during the month. There were a total of 9,677 Nevada  properties with foreclosure filings in August, a 3 percent decrease from the  previous month and a 28 percent decrease from August 2010.

Nevada’s overall decrease  was driven by a 30 percent month-over-month drop in scheduled auctions and a 6  percent month-over-month decrease in REOs. Default notices in Nevada increased  31 percent from July, but were still down 32 percent from August 2010.

A 55 percent  month-over-month increase in default notices helped keep California’s  foreclosure rate second highest among the states in August. One in every 226 California housing units had a foreclosure filing during the month — more than  twice the national average. Scheduled auctions and REOs in California were down  on both a monthly and annual basis.

With one in every 248  housing units with a foreclosure filing in August, Arizona posted the nation’s third highest state foreclosure rate for the second  month in a row. Scheduled foreclosure auctions in Arizona increased 20 percent  from the previous month, but were still down 31 percent from August 2010.  Arizona REOs decreased 6 percent from the previous month and were down 36  percent from August 2010.

Other states with  foreclosure rates ranking among the top 10 were Georgia, Idaho, Michigan,  Florida, Illinois, Colorado and Utah.

Five states account for more than half of U.S.  total
Five states accounted for  53 percent of U.S. foreclosure activity in August. Leading the pack was  California, where 59,383 properties had foreclosure filings during the month.

Florida posted the second  highest state total: 23,569 properties with foreclosure filings in August — an  increase of 5 percent from July, but still down 59 percent from August 2010.

Michigan documented  13,016 properties with foreclosure filings in August, the third highest state  total, and Illinois documented 12,493 properties with foreclosure filings, the  fourth highest total.

Georgia posted the fifth  highest state total: 11,743 properties with foreclosure filings in August — an  increase of 2 percent from the previous month, but still down 28 percent from  August 2010.

Defaults surge in hardest-hit markets
A 30 percent  month-over-month increase in default notices helped Las Vegas maintain the  nation’s highest foreclosure rate among metropolitan areas with a population of  200,000 or more. One in every 103 Las Vegas housing units had a foreclosure  filing in August — more than five times the national average.

Stockton, Calif., which  ranked No. 4, was the only metro area in the top 10 that did not post a  double-digit monthly increase in default notices. Stockton’s default notices  increased 7 percent on a month-over-month basis in August after increasing 96  percent on a month-over-month basis in July.

The remainder of the  metro areas in the top 10 all posted double-digit percentage increases in  defaults from the previous month: Modesto, Calif., at No. 2 (57 percent  increase); Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif., at No. 3 (68 percent increase);  Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif., at No. 5 (59 percent increase); Sacramento,  Calif., at No. 6 (76 percent increase); Bakersfield, Calif., at No. 7 (44  percent increase); Fresno, Calif., at No. 8 (95 percent increase);  Visalia-Porterville, Calif., at No. 9 (97 percent increase); and Reno, Nev., at  No. 10 (23 percent increase).

Report methodology
The RealtyTrac  U.S. Foreclosure Market Report provides a count of the total number of properties  with at least one foreclosure filing entered into the RealtyTrac  database during the month — broken out by type of filing. Some foreclosure  filings entered into the database during the month may have been recorded in  previous months. Data is collected from more than 2,200 counties nationwide,  and those counties account for more than 90 percent of the U.S. population. RealtyTrac’s report incorporates documents filed in  all three phases of foreclosure: DefaultNotice of Default (NOD) and Lis Pendens (LIS); Auction — Notice of Trustee Sale and Notice of Foreclosure Sale (NTS and  NFS); and Real Estate Owned, or REO properties (that have been foreclosed on and repurchased by a  bank). The report does not count a property again if it receives the same type  of foreclosure filing multiple times within the estimated foreclosure timeframe  for the state where the property is located.

Report License                                                                              
The RealtyTrac U.S. Foreclosure Market Report is  the result of a proprietary evaluation of information compiled by RealtyTrac;  the report and any of the information in whole or in part can only be quoted,  copied, published, re-published, distributed and/or re-distributed or used in  any manner if the user specifically references RealtyTrac as the source for  said report and/or any of the information set forth within the report.

About RealtyTrac Inc.
RealtyTrac (www.realtytrac.com) is the leading  online marketplace of foreclosure properties, with more than 2 million default,  auction and bank-owned listings from over 2,200 U.S. counties, along with detailed  property, loan and home sales data. Hosting more than 3 million unique monthly  visitors, RealtyTrac provides innovative technology solutions and practical  education resources to facilitate buying, selling and investing in real estate.  RealtyTrac’s foreclosure data has also been used by the Federal Reserve, FBI,  U.S. Senate Joint Economic Committee and Banking Committee, U.S. Treasury  Department, and numerous state housing and banking departments to help evaluate  foreclosure trends and address policy issues related to foreclosures.

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